P.S. ARTS believes that creating a healthy climate and engaged community fortifies children’s development, learning, and well-being. In light of the recent global news surrounding the Ukraine invasion, we are committed to help the students, parents, and teachers of our community find ways to express their feelings about and communicate the importance of the crisis. Below are some helpful tips for anyone who may be interested in how to discuss conflict and war with children.
5 helpful tips from PBS and Unicef:
- Find out what they understand and help explain what they don’t. Try using a map, books, or a metaphor to answer their questions with age-appropriate information.
- Keep it calm and age-appropriate. Use age-appropriate language when explaining complicated terms like “refugee” or “sanctions.” Be mindful of your tone and energy and watch their responses via body language. Use regulation techniques like breathing exercises to help with anxiety.
- Focus on helpers and compassion, not stigma. Avoid labels like “good guy” or “bad guy,” which can often lead to prejudice. Find positive stories of people helping others, and ask if they would like to participate in positive action or expression in some way.
- Close convos with care & keep checking in. Reassure them that they are safe and loved. Remind them that they are supported whenever they are feeling overwhelmed. And continue to ask about their thoughts and feelings, both emotional and physical.
- Limit the flood of news & take care of yourself. Be mindful of exposure to news in and outside of the household. Create positive alternative experiences to allow emotional healing. Take time for yourself to relieve anxiety, anger, and any emotions you may be experiencing.